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Physical Activity and Total Daily Energy Expenditure in Older US Adults: Constrained versus Additive Models.
Pubmed ID
34334719 (View this publication on the PubMed website)
Digital Object Identifier
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2022 Jan 1; Volume 54 (Issue 1): Pages 98-105
Willis EA, Creasy SA, Saint-Maurice PF, Keadle SK, Pontzer H, Schoeller D, Troiano RP, Matthews CE
  • Division of Epidemiology and Genetics, Metabolic Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.
  • Department of Kinesiology and Public Health, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA.
  • Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.
  • Risk Factor Assessment Branch, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.

PURPOSE: This study aimed to examine the shape of the relationship between physical activity (PA) and total energy expenditure (TEE) and to explore the role of energy balance status (negative, stable, positive) in influencing this association.

METHODS: Cross-sectional. Participants were 584 older adults (50-74 yr) participating in the Interactive Diet and Activity Tracking in AARP study. TEE was assessed by doubly labeled water and PA by accelerometer. The relationship between PA and TEE was assessed visually and using nonlinear methods (restricted cubic splines). Percent weight change (>3%) over a 6-month period was used as a proxy measurement of energy balance status.

RESULTS: TEE generally increased with increasing deciles of PA averaging 2354 (SD, 351) kcal·d-1 in the bottom decile to 2693 (SD, 480) kcal·d-1 in the top decile. Cubic spline models showed an approximate linear association between PA and TEE (linear relation, P < 0.0001; curvature, P = 0.920). Results were similar in subgroup analyses for individuals classified as stable or positive energy balance. For those in negative energy balance, TEE was generally flat with increasing deciles of PA averaging 2428 (SD, 285) kcal·d-1 in the bottom decile to 2372 (SD, 560) kcal·d-1 in the top decile.

CONCLUSIONS: Energy balance status seems to play an important role in the relationship between PA and TEE. When in a positive energy balance, the relationship between TEE and PA was consistent with an additive model; however, when energy balance was negative, TEE seems to be consistent with a constrained model. These findings support PA for weight gain prevention by increasing TEE; however, the effect of PA on TEE during periods of weight loss may be limited. An adequately powered, prospective study is warranted to confirm these exploratory findings.

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